Sankalpa – A tool for making change

Sankalpa is not a new year resolution but it can be a really useful and effective tool for helping to make change in life.

A sankalpa is not a discussion, it’s not something to think about or analyse. Sankalpa is a seed that we plant deep inside, one that we nurture and give space to grow.

We use Sankalpa in Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation) but we can repeat it anytime, first thing in the morning and last thing at night is recommended, but anytime of day is good. The important thing about repeating a Sankalpa is that you just say it – it is not something to mull over, or to judge progress. You just make the statement regularly over time and gradually the change comes.


Making a Sankalpa : Sowing the seed of change.


Each of us has the power to remould our own mental structure.

No personality is beyond reformation, and no fear or obsession is so deep rooted that it cannot be changed.

                                                            –  Swami Satyananda Saraswati


Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word which can be translated as ‘resolve’, or ‘will’, or ‘determination’.


When we make a sankalpa in Yoga Nidra it becomes an effective tool for making profound changes to the way we think and feel.

The right Sankalpa can reshape our personality and direction in life along positive lines.


Sankalpa is a seed which we plant deep in the subconscious.

It should be planted with strong willpower and feeling, at a time when the mind is relaxed and ready to accept and absorb it. Such a state occurs during Noga Nidra.


Once the sankalpa is planted it gathers together the vast forces of the mind in order to bring about its fruition.


This deep powerful seed will eventually manifest itself again and again at a conscious level and bring about changes in your personality and life.



Guidelines when making a Sankalpa


Ideally you should make a sankalpa which reflects your deepest aspirations; so you must first consider what is important in life for you.


It is possible to make a temporary, ‘mini-sankalpa’ for a short term situation for example if you are struggling with illness, stress or addiction. When the sankalpa has worked, you can concentrate on your long term sankalpa.


Make sure it is a positive statement. Avoid words that suggest the possibility of failure, such as “try”, or words that remind you of your present condition, so avoid ‘I am less tired / negative / depressed etc’.


Sankalpa should not be phrased in the future. Avoid saying ‘I will …’ Change can only happen in the here and now. Your sankalpa should show that change is happening now!

Phrase your sankalpa in a way that means the most to you.


“It is better to choose a sankalpa that will change your whole personality so that you become more balanced, happy and fulfilled.”


Finding the right Sankalpa

  1. Write out a list of things in your life which you would like to change.
  2. Review the list and see if any of the things you would like to change stem from the same underlying cause or problem.
  3.  Prioritise the list and decide which changes are most important to you.
  4. Then ask yourself ‘If I make this change what would I gain?’ (eg health, peace of mind, contentment).
  5. Review what you have written and see if you can find a sankalpa which is right for you.


Take your time. Your Sankalpa may be for life – there is no rush!


Suggestions of ways to phrase your resolve.  

–   I am becoming more balanced / stable / grounded / content.

–   I am strong / confident / energetic.

–   I am (feeling) loved / more compassionate / loving.

–   I speak peacefully.

–   I can deal with whatever life brings.

–   I am at peace with myself.


Click here to download directions for making a Sankalpa.


from Mindfulness Techniques, Resources, posted January 2020


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